An opponent process theory of job satisfaction

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Abstract

Considers the role of job satisfaction in research and theory in the area of industrial and organizational psychology. Job satisfaction seems to occupy a position as the hedonic or affective component in theories of motivation. In spite of its importance, little theory is available for understanding the affective state represented by the concept of job satisfaction. Opponent process theory is suggested as a reasonable deductive statement for a consideration of the phenomenon of satisfaction. The theory proposes that every excursion from hedonic neutrality is accompanied by an attempt to bring the excursion back within “normal” limits. This return to normal is accomplished via an opponent process. The theory further suggests that the opponent process grows in strength with use. The theory is applied to some current questions regarding the relationship between job satisfaction and work motivation. The major parameters of the theory are represented by a series of research hypotheses and corollaries. (42 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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